It's important to save your teeth whenever possible. There are, however, situations when a tooth is not able to be saved, or, it must be removed to protect the bite or prevent infection:
- Non-Restorable Teeth. When a tooth is severely decayed, fractured or has lost too much bone support because of advanced periodontal disease, Dr. Zanthos may recommend extraction if it is no longer possible to save the tooth.
- Orthodontic Extractions. Teeth sometimes require removal in preparation for orthodontic treatment when there is excessive crowding or severe misalignment.
- Wisdom Teeth. Third molars or "wisdom teeth" typically erupt in the early adult years. These "extra" molar teeth are positioned far back in the mouth and can be difficult to clean and problematic for many patients. They are sometimes "impacted", or turned in such as way that they will not erupt properly. Wisdom teeth are commonly removed to prevent infection or decay that might also place surrounding teeth at risk.
In the case of complex surgical or wisdom teeth extractions, we may refer the patient to an Oral Surgeon specialist for treatment.
Saving Your Tooth is a Better Investment.
Other than with wisdom teeth or orthodontic treatment, tooth extraction is not usually the recommended treatment for permanent teeth that can be saved by root canal therapy and a crown.
- Even though an extraction procedure costs less than a root canal, tooth loss causes surrounding teeth to shift, making replacement of lost teeth with an implant or bridge necessary (which are more costly procedures than a single root canal and crown).
- The shifting of surrounding teeth into the space left by an extraction of a previously function tooth is a destructive process. If the missing tooth is not replaced with a bridge or implant, other teeth will move or "super-erupt" into the open space, the bite will become compromised, and eventually more teeth are lost.
If you believe you or a family member has a tooth that may need extraction, please contact us to schedule an appointment so that we may offer our recommendations for treatment.